Analamerana Special Reserve

Map Analamera Analamerana (or Analamera) is a hardly known and partly unexplored Special Reserve located 20 km southeast from the Amber Mountain National Park. Created in 1956, the Reserve stretches from the east coast until the Analamerana karstic plateau and comprises a surface of 347 km². The reserve is mainly covered by dense deciduous dry forest mixed with rocky formations up to 700 m in the western part. It is a very important water source for the agriculture in the surrounding areas since several rivers, as the Irondo in the north and the Loky in the south cross the plateau and flow into the rice paddies in the valleys.

This place is the last habitat of one of the most endangered primate species, the totally black-coloured Perrier’s sifaka. Other endangered mammals living in the reserve are the crowned and Sanford’s lemurs or the Northern ring-tailed mongoose. We can spot as well some very rare birds such as the Van Dam´s Vanga or the Madagascar pond heron and many reptiles and amphibians.

Madagascar tree boa
Boas are wide spread but totally inoffensive to humans © Gail Johnson   

Due to its privileged position between the East coast, the central plateau and the north-western area a huge diversity of plants belonging to the three regions grow inside the Reserve. Three species of baobabs (Adansonia madagascariens, Adansonia perrieri, and Adansonia suarezensis), several palm trees and wild coffee plants grow in Analamerana. The abundance of precious wood entails an increasing illegal market which means the destruction of the last remaining protected areas just to the benefit of a few people.

The easiest way to reach Analamerana Reserve is by car from Diego Suarez (a jeep is the best option). There are several points to enter the reserve. The shortest one is called Anivorano on the northern part of the reserve (around two hours drive). From the other points ( Ankarongana and Irodo) you have to walk a couple of km to reach the entrance.

There is a taxi-brousse connection from Ambodivona Station in Diego as well, but the poor road condition can make the transfer much longer.

There are a couple of basic accommodations next to the reserve and some other are currently being built. Bivouac is the only way to stay overnight inside the reserve. There are still no camping facilities at all, so you must bring all the necessary equipment and supplies with you. You can arrange a visit from Antsiranana.

The temperature is warm all year around. During the rainy season from November to March rainfalls can be torrential, so if you are visiting the reserve in this period bring suitable clothes. The best time to come is May to September, it is a little bit hotter (around 28°) but for sure it will not rain.

The faunaThere are currently no circuits available. Nevertheless a trip in this area is very rewarding. Apart from the Reserve itself, you can enjoy a traditional festivity which takes place in July called " Kabiry" , where thousands of people gather to play traditional music and dance, or visit the spectacular red Tsingy not far from here.

The avifauna of Analamerana counts numerous species seven of which are endemic. Among these birds, we find the eight rarest birds in the world as Van Dam’s Vanga Xenopirostris damii.

On the other hand, the climate and the relatively stripped of a big part of the reserve don’t encourage the abundance of reptiles and amphibians. However, Analamerana remains a conquered earth for Furcifer petteri, Boa manditra, and Boa madagascariensis.
The best fauna of Analamerana

1. Propithecus perrieri or Akomba jôby is an endemic lemur of Analamerana. We can see it all year round in Ankavanana, Antombiratsy and Analabe or in Andrafiamena.   It is a critically endangered species among the 25 species most endangered primates in the world.
2. Eulemur sanfordi or Ankomba biharovôko is also a lemur that can be seen from January to December in Ankavanana, Antombiratsy and Analabe or in Andrafiamena.

3. Galidia elegans dambrensis or Vontsira is a mammal that we can see at Ankavanana, Antombiratsy and Analabe or in Andrafiamena in rainy weather.

4. Van dam’s vanga Xenopirostris damii. This Endemic species of Madagascar has a very small range and considered as the rarest and most threatened vanga.

5. Malagasy pond heron Ardeola idae. This bird of the family of the Ardeidae is endemic to Madagascar . Outside of breeding season, this species migrate in Africa. Species classified endangered species (EN).

The flora

The Analamerana Special Reserve contains typical species of the ecoregion of the west, the East and the Center at a time. Thus, three species of baobabs out seven known in Madagascar are found in the Reserve: Adansonia perrieri, Adansonia madagascariens and Adansonia suareziensis. Six species of palms have also been inventoried there.

The best flora of Analamerana

1. Adansonia perrieri or Bozy is an endemic species of Madagascar. We can find it in Antaignaombihely, Analabe and Ankarana.

2. Coffea saharenanensis or Kafeala generally grows at Analabe, Ankavanana and Antombiratsy.

3. Eugenia analameranensis or Rôtro is also seen in Analabe, Ankavanana and Antombiratsy
crowned lemur
  Crowned lemur  © MauritsV

As there is still no touristic infrastructure in the reserve itself, a good idea is to get informed in the office in Diego.

Route de l’Aéroport BP 475 – 201 Antsiranana
Tél./fax : (261 20) 82 213 20  / (261 32) 04 751 27
Email : angapdie@yahoo.fr